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Laurus nobilis AGM

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© RHS 2002

Characteristics

Plant type

Shrub or Herbs - Culinary

Habit

Bushy

Fragrance

Leaf

Resilience

Hardiness

H4 (hardy - average winter)

Colour

Flower

Pale Green and Pale Yellow in Spring

Foliage

Green in Autumn, Spring, Summer and Winter

Fruit

Black in Autumn

Size

Ultimate height

8-12 metres

Ultimate spread

wider than 8 metres

Time to ultimate height

20-50 years


Preferred common name

bay tree

Family

Lauraceae


Laurus are dioecious evergreen trees or large shrubs, with leathery aromatic leaves, and small yellow flowers followed on female plants by black berries

L. nobilis is a large, erect evergreen shrub with aromatic, narrowly ovate, leathery leaves useful in cooking. Flowers small, pale greenish-yellow, in dense clusters; fruit oval, glossy black when ripe

Other common names

  • bay
  • bay laurel
  • poet's laurel
  • Roman laurel
  • royal bay
  • sweet bay
  • true laurel
  • victor's laurel

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun
  • Part shade

Aspect

  • North-facing, East-facing, South-facing or West-facing
  • Sheltered or Exposed

Cultivation

Grows well in a container. Prefers a well-drained soil in sun or partial shade

Soil

  • Well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Chalk, Clay, Sand or Loam

Propagation

Propagate by seed or semi-hardwood cuttings

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Hedging/Screens, Low Maintenance or Coastal


How to care

Pruning

Pruning group 1

Pests

Can get bay sucker, horse chestnut scale, soft scale and tortrix moth

Diseases

Powdery mildews and a leaf spot may be a problem